University of Miami Law Review


Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or “SLAPPs,” are frivolous lawsuits used to silence and harass critics by forcing them to spend money on legal fees. An overwhelming majority of states have enacted anti-SLAPP statutes to shield against these lawsuits, recognizing their potential to chill free speech and healthy debate. Though anti-SLAPP statutes come in different shapes and sizes, they commonly employ procedural mechanisms such as expedited dismissal procedures, heightened standards at the pleading and summary judgment stages, and fee-shifting provisions. The unintended consequence of these features is that SLAPP filers can often elude the protections of anti-SLAPP statutes by filing suit in federal court, where Federal Rules of Procedure displace conflicting state law. Unlike other states’ anti-SLAPP statutes, however, Florida’s version—when read properly—does not conflict with the Federal Rules of Procedure